Review of Regional Research

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 123–146 | Cite as

Income inequality in European Regions: Recent trends and determinants

  • David Castells-Quintana
  • Raul Ramos
  • Vicente Royuela
Original Paper


Income inequality is both at the political and academic agenda. Because of the Great Recession, income inequality has experienced an increase in many parts of the world in general and in many European regions in particular. In addition, several academics have signalled inequality as a source of such crisis. Nevertheless, few attempts have been made for conducting the analysis at the regional level. In this work we analyse the main factors behind current trends in inequality in Europe over the last decade. We develop our analysis at the regional level, which adds a new dimension to the existing literature. Our results point to a large diversity in inequality patterns. Inequality is on average lower in more developed regions, but recent increases in inequality seem associated with economic growth. Our results suggest that tertiary specialisation, openness, and technological change, although likely to be associated with economic growth, are also associated with increasing inequalities.


Regional income inequality European regions Great Recession 

Ungleichheit in Europäischen Regionen: Letzte Trends und Determinanten

JEL codes

D63 O18 R11 R12 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 216813 and n° 266834. We make use of microdata from the European Commission, Eurostat, cross-sectional ECHP and EU-SILC databases made available by Eurostat under contracts ECHP/2009/06 and EU-SILC/2012/17. Eurostat has no responsibility for the results and conclusions reported here. We are grateful for Maria Iacovou for providing us data on family structure that we use in this work. We also acknowledge the financial support of CICYT ECO2013-41022-R.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Castells-Quintana
    • 1
  • Raul Ramos
    • 1
  • Vicente Royuela
    • 1
  1. 1.Dpt. Econometrics, AQR-IREA Research GroupUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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